Offending everybody

The following letter appears in today’s Age newspaper:

“On January 11 you published a Leunig cartoon relating to Ariel Sharon, who was at the time lying at death’s door (and probably still is). The context of the cartoon was bad enough, but publishing it at that time was disgusting. Do you now have the guts to publish the disgraceful anti-Muhammad and anti-Islam cartoons that have already been published in Denmark, New Zealand, France, Germany and Italy – or is your policy that it is OK to antagonise the Australian Jews but not the Australian Muslims?”

N. Levin, Caulfield

Perhaps N. Levin needs to understand the nature of political cartoons. Leunig wasn’t intending to offend Jews because they were Jewish, he was simply critiquing the role of a controversial leader. Judaism and Zionism are not one and the same thing. The “anti-Islam” cartoons are more directly related to denigrating Islam and seem intentionally aimed at provoking a reaction. Nothing, however, justifies the behaviour we have seen.
Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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